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Jameson places fourth at National Walleye Tour championships

Craig Jameson (right) and his professional partner, Josh Vanderweide, show off some of the walleye they caught on the opening day of the national tournament. 1 / 2
Craig Jameson shows off the large trophy he received for taking fourth place in the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour championship. 2 / 2

A text message led to Craig Jameson taking fourth place in the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour national championships on Devil’s Lake in North Dakota on Sept. 19-21.

Jameson wasn’t scheduled to compete in the national championships after fishing in one event on the tour this summer. Ten days before the national tournament, he received a text message saying there were a few spots available in the 82-boat field. Jameson jumped at the chance to compete.

Jameson, the owner of the Carpet Center in New Richmond, had 10 days to get ready to make the trip.

You might be able to spot Jameson on national television in the near future. The NBC Sports Network plans to air a series of shows covering the National Walleye Tour. The series is scheduled to begin this Wednesday.

Jameson said he was interviewed after each day of the national tournament and his weigh-ins were also filmed. His weigh-in on the final day of the tournament should get some television time. He and professional partner Matt Taylor had the second largest haul of the tournament, weighing in 23.06 pounds of fish. That moved Jameson from eighth to fourth in the final standings for the co-angler division of the tournament. The fourth place finish netted him $3,215 in prize money.

In each day of the tournament, professional fishermen are paired with non-professionals, termed co-anglers, for the tournament. For the first two days of the tournament, Jameson was paired with Josh Vanderweide, who took second place in the tournament.

The top 10 fishermen get to compete in the final day of the tournament. Jameson ranked eighth after the first two days and was paired with Taylor for the final day. Taylor finished fourth among the professional anglers. The professional anglers arrived several days before the co-anglers, scouting the lake for spots where they think will draw plenty of walleye activity. There was plenty of area to scout for this tournament. Devil’s Lake covers 220,000 acres.

On the opening day of the tournament, Jameson and his partner accounted for 18.31 pounds of fish, one of the highest totals of the day. They caught a 24-incher early on the second day and a couple 19-inchers, but didn’t get another keeper, finishing with 9.21 pounds for the day. That was enough to get Jameson to the finals.

On the final day, Jameson caught four walleye, “but three were big.” Between Jameson and Taylor, they produced five substantial fish for the final weigh-in.

The teams were able to weigh-in a maximum of five fish a day and they could only keep eight fish in their live well. All the fish were released following the tournament.

The fishermen can’t control which species of fish they catch. Jameson said on the final day of the tournament he also hauled in 20 northern pike.

“So it was a fun day,” he said.

Jameson said he is planning to compete on more of the national tour stops next year. The dates and locations for next year’s tour have already been released. The regular season kicks off April 25, 2014, on the Detroit River. The event will operate out of Trenton, Mich. In June, the NWT will visit Mobridge, S.D., on Lake Oahe. The final regular-season event is set for Aug. 29-30 on Bays De Noc at Escanaba, Mich. In September, the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour Championship will take place on Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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